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DNA Study Offers Clues to Neolithic Burials in France

Monday, May 9, 2022

CAEN, FRANCE—Genetic analysis of remains recovered from the long barrows at Fleury-sur-Orne, a 6,000-year-old cemetery in northwestern France, suggests that the Cerny culture was patrilineal, according to a Live Science report. Maïté Rivollat of the University of Bordeaux and the Max Planck Institute and her colleagues were able to obtain DNA from 14 of the 19 sets of human remains found at the site. Thirteen of them were identified as male, and only two of them, a father and son, were related. The remains of the one female buried in the barrow were surrounded by arrowheads, which are often considered to be a masculine artifact. The researchers conclude that burial at the monumental site may have been reserved for elite men from unrelated families or clans over a period of several centuries. To read about a megalithic cemetery in central France, go to "Megalithic Mystery."

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